Holiday Express is a different puzzle game. It is a variation of the popular Tetris as in fact, the difference comes mainly from its festive theme and some other minor elements. Instead of the usual Tetris levels, there will be train cars to be filled with presents of different colors, shapes and sizes.
Learning the rules of the game is not difficult, mostly when you can first read the available tips. However, the game itself can become quite challenging as you advance through the levels.
Instead of falling from above, as in Tetris, the pieces will be transported on a conveyor belt, from where you need to pick, rotate, and place them on an empty area in the train car. Every time you build a complete line, the pieces there will disappear. When all the lines have been cleared, you will see a picture with a holiday theme (more pictures can also be downloaded from the program’s site) and the train will be ready to move on. Besides the regular pieces, there will be others, called “singles”, which appear on a different conveyor belt. These can be used to fill empty spaces on the car. However, they are limited. Fortunately, you will be able to win some more as bonuses. Also when a piece does not fit, you can discard it by dropping it in the cargo return at the cost of a penalty.
The relaxed mode, called Snowy, will let you fill the cars at your own pace; while the timed mode, called Flurry, will be more challenging because of more complex pieces and bonus rounds. In this case, the round will be over when the conveyor belt is filled with presents.
In general, Holiday Express may be entertaining, but only for a while. In this respect, it is not the kind of game that can keep you glued to your seat and away from your tasks. The graphics are not great and the music may be nice at first but annoying after a while. However, I think your children will love it. In this respect, the game may have some educational value, because they will have to make increasingly difficult decisions regarding time and space management. It can also be used to teach them the names of different geometrical shapes and colors.